When we first moved into our neighborhood, many years ago, we would often see a lady either walking through our yard or along the street yelling “Elvis.” Elvis was a black lab retriever mix with spots of gray. Lila, our dog, is beginning to turn a little gray around her mouth and has longer legs than Elvis, but she is starting to make me feel like our neighbor, Elvis’s mom, who moved away a long time ago.
The other day, when we brought Lila home from the kennel, and when we were about to grab ahold of her by her collar, she took off running in a southerly direction. I grabbed her leash, headed in that direction, calling her name every so often, but I didn’t get a response. I headed home to find that a different neighbor, who recognized Lila, and who lives in a northerly direction, brought her back to our house.
Today, a little storm was brewing, so I delayed our walk. I brushed Lila before letting her back in the house. Just as I was going to open the door, she took off running in a southerly direction again. I yelled to her, as sweetly as I could, in my sudden bad mood, but it didn’t coax her back, as usual. This time, since I was home by myself, I went on with my chores and hoped someone would come knocking or calling.
About 15 minutes later, our phone rang.
“Are you missing a dog?” the lady asked.
“Yes, she got away from me,” I said.
“We have her here. She’s so friendly. We gave her some water.”
“Thank you. Where are you?”
The lady gave me her address, which is not very far from the southerly direction Lila headed.
“I’ll be right over.” I grabbed Lila’s leash and drove to the neighbor’s house, because the raindrops were getting quite large. I wondered why Lila kept running away lately. It is a common trend for her, which lessened the last couple of years. Maybe she misses her three mile walks. Since it’s been warm with high humidity, we whittled our walks down to a mile. If only Lila could understand the risks of heat stroke. When it’s cooler out, Lila likes to sit under the ash tree in our front yard and is the neighborhood greeter. She might be missing the delivery people and mailman who all give her treats. Maybe she misses our friends who used to come over. Not many other visitors have been stopping by, because of the pandemic.
When I got closer to the address, I spotted Lila in the neighbor’s front yard on a leash. The nice lady was there waiting with Lila. A little poodle watched from behind the glass storm door, jumping and wagging its tail. Congratulations 2020 High School Graduate signs spotted the yard.
“Thank you. Thank you,” I said. Lila jumped up high and acted like she hadn’t seen me in months! The lady unhooked her from their leash, and I got Lila hooked on mine.
Lila has been getting us to socialize with our many nice neighbors. I can’t help but feel like Elvis’s mom whenever I run around the neighborhood in search of our girl. Maybe we were meant to keep up with that silly neighborhood tradition that Elvis created.
No matter what was meant to be, have you ever met a dog named Elvis? 🙂